Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (Encyclopedia Brown, #1)” as Want to Read:
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (Encyclopedia Brown, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective

(Encyclopedia Brown #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  38,397 ratings  ·  730 reviews
A Civil War sword...A watermelon stabbing...

Missing roller skates...

A trapeze artist's inheritance...

And an eyewitness who's legally blind!

Theses are just some of the ten brain-twisting mysteries that Encyclopedia Brown must solve by using his famous computerlike brain. Try to crack the cases along with him--the answer to all the mysteries are found in the back!
...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 1st 1985 by Yearling (first published 1963)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lulu yes, everyone is smart in their own way

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  38,397 ratings  ·  730 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (Encyclopedia Brown, #1)
Matt
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Neo has taken an interest in the Encyclopedia Brown series, as we work together to crack the cases wide open. We decided to start at the beginning and read some of the initial cases that Donald Sobol created, while laying the groundwork for his epic young reader series. Neo and I tackled a woman who has an expensive necklace stolen, a bank robber who cannot see the error of his ways, and even a watermelon that has a knife stuck inside it. Sobol plants great clues within the narratives and Neo ma ...more
Bill
I could say that I loved the Encyclopedia Brown series as a kid, but that wouldn't be entirely accurate. I wanted to *be* Encyclopedia Brown. When you're the nerdy kid on your block, and you discover a character who is the smartest kid in school, kind of popular despite that fact, can not only stand up to but often humiliate the local bully, and gets to hang out with the prettiest girl in the school? Yeah, you're gonna wish life imitated art in that case. And in my mind, it actually seemed kind ...more
Seth
Nov 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all children
Give this to the nearest 6-10 year-old (or adult who wants to be 6-10 years old again). It isn't the "can you solve it, too" mystery aspect, although that's fun enough, it's the attitude: Brown loves--and doesn't fear--a good problem, he wants to help people, he has a good relationship with his family, his friends trust and accept one another while recognizing their individuality, and the underlying sense of justice, both moral and civil, is a valuable lesson to every kid and a valuable refreshe ...more
Alex
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: your dorky kid
Shelves: 2011
A sudden fit of nostalgia prompted me to buy and read this. It took like half an hour. It was pretty fun! I love the old-school vision of America, sorta Tom Sawyer-y, where boys spun eggs for fun and 25 cents was a treasure.

Most of the mysteries are not as mysterious as I remember them. You know how each story ends with "How did Encyclopedia Brown solve the case? Flip to page 80 to find out!" and you gotta figure out what his big clue was? Well, it's generally pretty obvious. One of them got me
...more
Scott Rhee
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, childrens
"Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective" by Donald J. Sobol was a great series, and I think I read all of them. More than once. I thank (or blame) this series for starting me on my love of the mystery genre. These are gateway books. Finishing this series will lead one to read the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series, then to Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Parker and Sue Grafton, until one day you find yourself strung out on Lee Child or Robert Crais. Be forewarned... ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I read this a loooooong time ago, so there's not much I remember about this book other than I really enjoyed it. I never did get a chance to read the other books because... idk, I guess I got distracted by a different book? Eh :P. ...more
Alex
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
So I've gone back to revisit this after being reminded of having read these pretty voraciously when I was in the target demographic. I still remember some of the trivia learned from reading these.

With greater perspective, I appreciate the desire to teach logical thought and attention to detail. However, these are significantly less engaging to me now as then. On the plus side, they're all over quickly, so they never really overstay their welcome.

The one thing that I don't recall noticing before
...more
Aimee Massey
Feb 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
I used to like this series when I was little. Much more so than I liked Nancy Drew; in fact, I think Nancy Drew may be one of the most overrated children's-book characters out there.
I liked Encyclopedia Brown's books because they were short, and I could often figure out the solution to the mystery on my own. Granted, the evidence Encyclopedia cites is often very weak, and would never stand up in court, but still, not bad for a ten-year-old.
I do think his police-chief father needs to retire. He l
...more
Lauren
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I would go to the library and check out 10 of these at a time. I *loved* Encyclopedia Brown :)
Pooja Banga
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Civil War sword...A watermelon stabbing...

Missing roller skates...

A trapeze artist's inheritance...

And an eyewitness who's legally blind!

Theses are just some of the ten brain-twisting mysteries that Encyclopedia Brown must solve by using his famous computerlike brain. Try to crack the cases along with him--the answer to all the mysteries are found in the back!
...more
Steven R. McEvoy
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
I picked up this book because Barry Lyga made mention of it on his blog. I recall knowing the name but had never read an Encyclopedia Brown book until recently. Growing up with a dual form of dyslexia I did not read a lot of books when I was younger. In fact it was high school before I really became a reader. And maybe that is why I read across so many genres and love reading a good children's, middle grade or young adult book. I am very glad I added these books to me to be read list. It is alwa ...more
Kwoomac
So fun rereading this book from my childhood. In case you're not familiar with Encyclopedia Brown, here's what happens. He is a boy detective (10 years old) who gets paid, mostly by neighbor hood kids, to solve mysteries. So each chapter is a different case. The client lays out the details, Encyclopedia (geez, that's mouthful. What do his friends call him?)thinks about it for a while, sometimes doing a little investigating, and then he announces he has the solution. The reader has the opportunit ...more
Kirk
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this in a pile of scholastic books at my wife’s library in the donation pile. It’s the same cover as the one I had as a kid.

Out of the mysteries contained inside, I figured out two. I’m 38 years old . . . and I only figured out two 😂

It was great to revisit these. I couldn’t really remember much of them.

I have fond memories of Encyclopedia. I remember my grandmother would tape episodes from the HBO show on VHS because I didn’t have cable. I was already sucked in by TV and video games, but
...more
Teri-K
Evidently even modern kids can enjoy these classic stories of the brilliant young detective. I checked this one out of the library for my reluctant-reader eight year old grandson and he dove right in. He's read it twice and asked me to get more next time I'm there.

Part of the attraction is that each story is only a couple of pages long. Then the reader is asked to identify what clues Encyclopedia used to solve the case, and given the page they can turn to and see if they got it right. This inte
...more
Terri
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 7and8bookgroup
Always fun!
Chi
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I wrote here, this series of books still hold up well. Or perhaps I'm reading them nostalgically? Still, they're fun, and I like being to solve the mysteries by flipping straight to the back of the book! ...more
Steven R. McEvoy
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
I picked up this book because Barry Lyga made mention of it on his blog. I recall knowing the name but had never read an Encyclopedia Brown book until recently. Growing up with a dual form of dyslexia I did not read a lot of books when I was younger. In fact it was high school before I really became a reader. And maybe that is why I read across so many genres and love reading a good children's, middle grade or young adult book. I am very glad I added these books to me to be read list. It is alwa ...more
The
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Oh Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown. If only every town's criminal activity involved puns and word problems! Criminals in Idaville are bad at two things: telling lies and getting away with crime. Thanks to a ten year old nerd and his friend Sally.

It's bizarre that despite being the CHIEF OF POLICE, the kid's father brings home work every night and has poor Leroy solve all the town's crime over dinner. I always found that kind of sad (even as a child). Of course my parents are high flying medical prof
...more
John of Canada
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I never read these books when I was a child,but now that I'm going through my second childhood I thought I would give it a go.It's nice to spend time in gentler times.I managed to solve a few of the crimes and considered becoming a detective,but I don't think I could survive on 25 cents a day plus expense.Do kids still read these books.I'd like to think so. ...more
Lee
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to not love the Encyclopedia Brown series. It's book featured short stories that readers can solve with just the use of logic. If the reader reads closely and then thinks through the story, they can solve alongside Leroy Brown.

A most excellent series suitable for fourth grade and up.
...more
Brynn
May 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I loved this series as a kid...and may have read it when last week in the closet. :)
Though when you think of it, a lot of his evidence isn't very sound. Like this kid destroyed a tent because he was wearing short sleeves.....
...more
Donna
This is a re-read as an adult of a book I remember loving as a child. I still enjoyed it now! Encyclopedia pays attention to what's around him, thinks deeply, and enjoys helping people - we could all use some of that in our life. ...more
Maria Carmo
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Going back to youth books can be a funny experience: for instance, this book has ten short detective stories in which the reader can try to guess who the culprit is, and why... It is an insteresting exercise for our "grey cells", as Poirot would put it!

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon, 9 December 2016.
...more
Anna
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it they always make one mistake
Chad Harper
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Speaking of Encyclopedia Brown, I can remember this one time when my cousin was over for the weekend and we were playing D&D and video games all weekend and ran out of pop. I was going to ride my bike up to the store to get some. The store was about 8 miles away, by the way.

It was raining pretty hard that day, but I didn't care. I had ridden in the rain before and I really wanted some pop. Only problem is, my bike had a flat so I needed to use my little brother's bike.

Well, he was trying to tell
...more
Noninuna
More like 3.5 stars.

I recommend this especially for reluctant readers who need help for their comprehension skill because this book is structured in a way that for every chapter, there's a new mystery given and the solution for the mysteries is provided at the end of the book instead of the end of chapters. It encourages readers to think. And for adult, it's fun to check your attention to the text.

The downside of the story is there's no over-arc plot, no depth for the characters (we only know th

...more
Terris
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
So cute! Wonder why I didn't read this as a kid?! ...more
Cheryl
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What's to say? You either get a kick out of these brain-teasers, or you don't. I most surely do. Even when the solution isn't logically perfect, I can see the point of writing it that way. ...more
Bruce Gargoyle
Ten Second Synopsis:
Boy detective Encyclopedia Brown's first collection of cases.

In case you haven't come across these books before, they are set out like a book of short stories - the case of the missing this, the case of the mysterious that - but with one fun twist. Each story ends on a cliffhanger, with Encyclopedia claiming he has solved the case...but leaving the reader to figure out the solution for themselves! The solutions for each case are provided at the back of the book and I distinct
...more
Kristine Hansen
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
As I've gotten older, I think I've gotten cleverer, because I remember reading this book as a child and NEVER being able to guess the solutions. I got about 2/3 this time around. Whee!

My daughter struggled with it the same as I did, which led to a certain amount of frustration as we read this book for school. I helped her through some of the puzzles, but I think it helped her when I honestly couldn't come up with the solution either. It takes a certain kind of mindset to solve the cases - an att
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Children's Books: puzzles, games, and mini-mysteries 14 16 Aug 30, 2020 03:20PM  
am I the only one who likes this? 5 17 Sep 04, 2014 03:38PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, #1)
  • The Littles
  • Nate the Great
  • Henry Huggins (Henry Huggins, #1)
  • Harriet the Spy (Harriet the Spy #1)
  • How to Eat Fried Worms
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph S. Mouse, #1)
  • The Yellow House Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #3)
  • Freckle Juice
  • The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children Graphic Novels, #1)
  • Ralph S. Mouse (Ralph S. Mouse, #3)
  • The Borrowers (The Borrowers, #1)
  • The Clue Of The Left-Handed Envelope: Ready-for-chapters (Third-Grade Detectives)
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge, #1)
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, #1)
  • The Little Riders
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins
  • Meet Samantha: An American Girl (American Girl: Samantha, #1)
See similar books…
163 followers
Donald J. Sobol was an award-winning writer best known for his children's books, especially the Encyclopedia Brown mystery series. Mr. Sobol passed away in July of 2012. ...more

Other books in the series

Encyclopedia Brown (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch (Encyclopedia Brown, #2)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues (Encyclopedia Brown, #3)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man (Encyclopedia Brown, #4)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All (Encyclopedia Brown, #5)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace (Encyclopedia Brown, #6)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day
  • Encyclopedia Brown Tracks Them Down (Encyclopedia Brown, #8)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Shows the Way (Encyclopedia Brown, #9)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case (Encyclopedia Brown, #10)
  • Encyclopedia Brown Lends a Hand (Encyclopedia Brown, #11)

Related Articles

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
44 likes · 65 comments
“The case called for plain, old-fashioned police leg work!” 13 likes
“Mr. and Mrs. Brown had one child. They” 0 likes
More quotes…